In my previous post “How to Start Finding Joy: Part 5 of 6” I wrote about how catching our thoughts and changing them can positively impact our lives. In this last post of my finding joy series, I want to write about the importance of being selfish and letting go of expectations.
We should all be selfish and do what we feel is best for us. This is not to say that your relationships with other people are not important. And this is definitely not to say that if you have a child that needs to be tended to, you shouldn’t tend to them. What I mean by being selfish is that if you do not take care of yourself, there is no guarantee anyone will take care of you.
We are not here to please each other, we are here to please ourselves. I know this may sound…selfish but when we accept that we are not here to do and say exactly as others want, we can then be free to do what WE actually want to do. We can support and uplift each other in the process of living our life but it is not our responsibility to be the source of joy for others.
We have come to depend a lot on each other. We are unable to make decisions until someone else approves of our choice. When things go bad the first thing we do is blame someone else. Even if the wrongdoing is actually caused by another person, you still have control over how you deal with the situation. If you allow others to dictate your actions and reactions then you are choosing to lose that control over your life.
It has been incredibly liberating to know that I am the sole creator of my life. Whether I’ve made a good decision or a not so great one, it is wonderful to know that I am the only one who can take credit. There were times in my life when I have felt the weight of the world on me. I felt that other people’s unhappiness was my responsibility and I needed to put myself last in order to help others feel better. Yet, it is an impossible task to create happiness and joy for others.
Remember, joy can ONLY be found by you. Yet, we put pressure on others to make us feel happy and to make us feel complete. We put so many expectations on the people around us and likewise allow others to place expectations on us. Then, when people do not fulfill our requests or we do not meet theirs, we are offended and hurt.
Having expectations of others is common. It is our normal. However, just because it is normal doesn’t mean that it helps create abundance in our lives. There is a difference between boundaries and expectations. We all have levels of comfort and a boundary is what stops someone from crossing our line.
Boundary:“This is my limit, if you choose to not respect it, then I need to do what is best for me.”
Expectation: “I will only accept you if you do what I say”.
I have struggled with this in the past, and of course still do. But what I’ve learned is that I always feel better after letting go of the expectation. Likewise, when you start letting go of those expectations, YOU can also choose to not fall victim to the demands of others.
It isn’t always easy to choose joy. There are challenges that come with choosing to put yourself first. But it is in those challenges that you are able to discover the direction you want our life to go in. Finding the joy you want in your daily life begins with discomfort. It is the discomfort that allows you to understand what you want and what you don’t want.
Rumi said it best, “Never give from the depths of your well but from your overflow.” Give freely to others if you can. If you learn to always have an overflow in your well, then you will always have more to share. Create your joy and live freely within it.
I hope you enjoyed my six part series on finding joy.
Until next time, Mommy Friend!